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Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) & Depression

Questions for You

  • Is your life not as fulfilling as you’d like?
  • Do you feel empty, angry, lonely, or just tired all the time?
  • Wish you had more zest?
  • Has life lost its meaning?

Sadness or downswings in mood are normal reactions to life’s struggles, setbacks, and disappointments. Many people use the word “depression” to explain these kinds of feelings, but depression is much more than just sadness. They may mostly feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic; or even feel angry, aggressive, and restless.

Whatever the symptoms, depression is different from normal sadness in that it engulfs your day-to-day life, interfering with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun. The feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness are often intense and unrelenting, with little, if any, relief.

The NIH lists several signs and symptoms of depression:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Overeating, or appetite loss
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment

The causes and risk factor for depression are many and far ranging. They include but are not limited to loneliness lack of social support, recent stressful life experiences, family history of depression, marital or relationship problems, financial strain, early childhood trauma or abuse, alcohol or drug abuse, unemployment or underemployment, and health problems or chronic pain.

Depression is readily treatable, although finding the right treatment that works for you can sometimes take time. Specific treatment options include psychotherapy, hospitalization, medications, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and self-help.

Depression and Neurochemistry

Depression has been linked to problems or imbalances in the brain, specifically with regard to the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. The evidence is somewhat indirect on these points because it is very difficult to actually measure the level of neurotransmitter in a person’s brain. What we do know is that antidepressant medications (used to treat the symptoms of depression) are known to act upon these particular neurotransmitters and their receptors.

The neurotransmitter serotonin is involved in regulating many important physiological (body-oriented) functions, including sleep, aggression, eating, sexual behavior, and mood. Serotonin is produced by serotonergic neurons. Current research suggests that a decrease in the production of serotonin by these neurons can cause depression in some people, and more specifically, a mood state that can cause some people to feel suicidal.

Drugs, however, have many negative side effects. Other options need to be considered. People who are depressed need a safe way to restore the neurochemistry (NC) of their central nervous system.

Everyone’s neurochemistry (NC) is slightly different than everyone else’s, but everyone is addicted to their own NC. If your NC is that of a depressed person, you need to reverse it. Your brain needs to learn how to go back where it once was by restoring it to a proper balance.

Your neurotransmitter activity is very much a function of the electrical activity in your brain. CES can help get your brain electrical activity functioning normally, thus helping return your NC back to pre-stress homeostasis. Once your brain’s receptors start calling for the rebalanced levels, you’ll return to what was normal for you in the past. And your depression should ebb.

The CES Ultra, using Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES), can bring you true relief. It’s a proven way to treat feelings of depression-without using drugs. Studies show that approximately 70% of people with depression who use the CES Ultra find 70% relief of their symptoms.

beat-rain-depression-with-cesultra
Beat the Rainy Day Blues with CES Ultra

CES has no withdrawal symptoms, unlike most drugs. It also has not negative side-effects. You can also use the CES Ultra while still on your medication. In fact, don’t go off your medication until your doctor tells you to do so.

The Rise of Cranial Electrotherapy

Cranial Electrotherapy devices have been used in psychiatry practice for years.

Recently the FDA announced that it plans to approve cranial electrotherapy stimulation, the simple handheld medical device currently cleared to treat depression, anxiety, and insomnia. The FDA “has determined that there is sufficient information to establish special controls, and that these special controls, together with general controls, will provide a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness for CES devices.”1 In short, cranial electrotherapy will soon become the only medical device in the United States that is FDA-approved to treat insomnia and anxiety, and the only home-use device approved to treat depression. As such, it becomes part of the psychiatric armamentarium.

Used as an adjunct to drug therapy and other treatments, cranial electrotherapy is affordable without insurance and easy for patients to use without supervision. The cost ranges from $600 to $800, depending on the manufacturer and features. When used as an adjunct to antidepressants, medication dosages can be adjusted as clinically indicated according to symptoms and adverse effects. Cranial electrotherapy has been shown to attenuate methadone withdrawal and to improve cognitive function in chemically dependent patients.3

The current indication language from the FDA does not specify a diagnosis, but the device is used for the symptomatic treatment of depression, anxiety, and insomnia. This fits with a patient-centered, empirical approach to treatment. This may fly counter to the prevailing DSM-5 culture, but aligns nicely with the realities of many psychiatric practices.

There is published research spanning over 40 years, with at least 20 double-blind placebo-controlled studies that prove benefit outweighs risk. Several studies suggest that cranial electrotherapy triggers changes in neurotransmitters and endorphin release.

read more – PsychiatricTimes